Email #25, Subject: deficit shell game?

Tom Price’s “tax exemption” for the Empowering Patients First Act is a major tax increase in disguise. If its costs aren’t specifically tax-funded now, then they just get dropped into the deficit to be paid later. But paid how? By taxes. If you really think Obamacare “was not the right way to” reform health care, how is this better? At least Obamacare was honest. Solutions cost money. Call it an Obamacare “tax” or a “penalty,” but either way, Americans understand what is being required of them. The Empowering Patients First Act instead pretends there are no costs at all, and so actually increases the long-term costs by deferring reality till some unspecified future when the system is in even worse shape. This is not a “commonsense,” “bi-partisan” solution. This is a shell game.  You are a Congressional leader. We expect better of you. We expect you to deal with the real problem directly and openly and to give us more than short-term Orwellian names and a long-term health care catastrophe.

Chris Gavaler

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Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee University where he teaches creative writing, contemporary fiction, and comics. He has published two novels, Pretend I'm Not Here (HarperCollins 2002) and School For Tricksters (Southern Methodist University 2011), and two nonfictions, On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa University 2015) and Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury forthcoming 2017).

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